Ask the Experts: Home Exteriors – Landscaping

Ask the Experts: Home Exteriors - Landscaping - Bryan Nelson


Bryan Nelson Expert Advisors Group

As you buy a new home or if you are a seller getting ready to sell your home you may be considering landscaping the home.  There are a couple of really important details that you want to go over.  

Having a degree in landscape architecture and land development myself, it is near and dear to my heart.

Some things you want to consider when landscaping –

Should we be planting shrubs?

How close should we plant those to the house?

Mulch vs. rocks? 

Annuals vs. perennials? (they sound the same and sometimes you just have to Google it to figure out the difference between the two!)

(Click for more on updating Home Exteriors in preparation to sell)


First and foremost… shrubs.  

Something to consider, and I covered this on another video that you want to watch for,  is that there is a tag on every plant you buy. Whether you go to a big box store, a home improvement store, or you go to a landscape yard where they have an arborist or a landscape professional, they can give you their opinion on it.

You want to first determine, “Am I looking for a shrub for hedge line or am I looking for something that’s going to bloom?”  

Something to consider if you have children or pets – are any of the seeds or any of the blooms poisonous to animals or children?  Something like a sago palm can kill a pet. So that is something you’ll want to take into consideration if you have a puppy that eats everything.  Sago palms can be very dangerous.  

Also, look at the tag or talk to an arborist to find out the growth pattern.  You don’t want a tree that’s going to get ten feet wide planted next to three others that are only a foot or two apart.

What’s going to happen is they are going to grow into each other.   A couple of them are going to die off and you really could have saved money by only buying one or maybe two.

Also, if you plant those too close to your home, you’re going to have a trimming nightmare.  Unless you own a hedge trimmer and you like using it all the time, you might want to opt for a smaller bush that stays smaller.

Annuals and Perennials

When you’re planting smaller annuals and perennials that blossom more often, you want to make sure that it’s a plant that you’re going to be replacing all the time, like small flowering ones (perennial – replace every year) 

If it’s a plant like an azalea or something that blossoms once or twice a year it’s more of a permanent shrub.  Look and re-evaluate how often you want to be re-landscaping and changing the look of your home.

Mulch vs. Rocks

Last, is the important topic – mulch vs. rocks?


One thing to consider if you’re going to put pumice rocks or river stone in your home – do you ever want to remove it? 

It’s not fun and it’s hard to do so that’s something that you can take into consideration when you’re adding that to your landscape.   How easy is this item going to be to remove in the future?


Something to consider if you’re putting in mulch… mulch is not permanent unless you use a shredded tire mulch, which is a new recycled rubber type of mulch.  They color it, make it look nice, and the plus is – you have mulch that does not turn to dirt later.

It only takes three or four years for mulch to disintegrate into soil.  Even if you put a weed barrier down and put mulch on top of that it will eventually turn into soil which will then grow weeds.

There is no real way to weed-proof, it’s just a matter of “what look do you want?” and “how easy do you want it to be maintained and replaced in the future?”

How Much Mulch Do I Need? Here’s the Easiest Way to Find Out

I hope that helps!  If you have any other questions you can use the contact form below or you can just look at other videos that we have on this topic and other important topics at our website

Thanks for tuning in!

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